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PlantFiles: High Mallow, Tall Mallow, French Hollyhock
Malva sylvestris

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Malva (MAL-vuh) (Info)
Species: sylvestris (sil-VESS-triss) (Info)

34 members have or want this plant for trade.

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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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10 positives
5 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral jwptaurus On May 15, 2012, jwptaurus from Delmar, DE wrote:

I dug up two of these from my mom's garden. One is about 2 feet tall. The tap root was about 10inches deep. Both plants quickly wilted before I could even get them home (a 25 minute drive). The big leaves have mostly wilted and died off, but after 4 days in the ground, there are new leaves developing all over it and the flowers continue to bloom. I have a relatively small flower bed, so i will dead head frequently as I don't want it to take over.

Positive Freda5 On May 6, 2012, Freda5 from Albertville, AL wrote:

Our 'Zebrina' came up voluntarily a few years ago. I recently took pictures of it and posted to my facebook to see if anyone recognized it. A friend did and told me what it was. We love it! It is not invasive but it has spread a little this year. That's OK with me! I love the leaves and the flowers! Does anyone know if this has the medicinal purposes as other mallow plants?

Negative StellaElla On Aug 24, 2011, StellaElla from Graham, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I don't want to scare you off of this very pretty plant, but unless you want hundreds of seedlings all over the place, through the grass, growing in driveway cracks and even eavestroughs, you MUST not allow it to go to seed. This plant even competes with that horrible invasive Garlic Mustard that my house's previous owner let run rampant. On a positive note, this is a very pretty cut flower and looks nice with Veronica spicata and Cosmos. Plant with care.

Positive Lily_love On May 8, 2009, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is to confirm the statement made by Terry. It's indeed a biennual. I sowed the seeds last year. I just now enjoying its flower. Currently I've only two in the perennial garden, will report of its offsprings' performance on following years for the record.

Positive brutusmother On Jul 17, 2008, brutusmother from Grand Rapids, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have had this plant in my garden for several years now. I deadhead it daily until late in the season. This way it does not become invasive. I get a lot of comments on how beautiful they are.

Neutral Gabrielle On Jan 15, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A pretty flower, but it LOVES to self-seed. I have it coming up everywhere. It has a long tap-root that makes it hard to pull up without landing on your bottom if it gives! My information says hardy in zones 3-10. Another name is Zebra Hollyhock.

Positive Marlina On Sep 4, 2005, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Don't think this plant makes it through our winter because it reappears in other places so believe it is a strong reseeder. Pretty plant I have had it in almost every light hear but deep shade..Does very well once it blooms keeps going until frost.

Positive WolfieG On Aug 24, 2005, WolfieG from Burlington, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I found one of these growing as a 'weed' in the cracks of my patio and transplanted it into a garden bed in part sun. Now it has grown to full height and splendour, and looks wonderful amongst Bluebeard (Caryopteris), yellow yarrows, helianthus, and my Blue Satin Hibiscus.

Positive DDYE On Oct 28, 2004, DDYE from Mer Rouge, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

does extremely well in zone 8, I have extra seed and they always reseed .

Neutral lmelling On Oct 27, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Beautiful plant but doesn't do well in my yard (too moist). I planted this first in a "dry / average" year and it bloomed wonderfully but did not reseed. The next year I purchased another couple of them and it turned out to be a wet year. I have clay soil that tends to hold the moisture - this time they got very leggy and did not bloom well, only a couple at a time.

I've decided that while very pretty, they aren't worth the bother to purchase every year, because we never know whether it will be a wet or average season. The last few years it's tended on the wet side.

Positive wordsilk7 On Oct 24, 2004, wordsilk7 from Norwalk, CT (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very showy, tough plant with a profusion of pink/purple flowers. Flowers: June on. Best on poor, well-drained soils in full sun or partial shade. This plant bloomed the second year I had it and was spectacular.

Positive TERIM35 On Jul 14, 2004, TERIM35 from Bartlett, IL wrote:


Neutral llebpmac_bob On Jun 29, 2004, llebpmac_bob from Zephyr
Canada wrote:

Will not overwinter in my garden (Zone 4A) reliably but generally returns from seed if I am lazy about dead-heading.
Very long bloom period, and some lovely cultivars make it worth keeping at least a few plants going.

Positive ambk On Jul 7, 2003, ambk from Byhalia, MS wrote:

I have this plant with flowers that are lavender streaked. After the first round of long lasting spring blooms faded, I trimmed them off and now have even more blooms in the stiff heat of a Mississippi July. I have this growing on the edge of an old arbor covered with wisteria that never blooms. Thank goodness for this little plant and the color it provides.

Positive Crimson On Sep 1, 2002, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I LOVE these! It bloomed until frost killed it, long after all other things had been killed by frost. Needs staking, non-stop flowers.... difficult to impossible to move, long tap root. Blooms the first year. Cut down the stems in the autumn.

Neutral Terry On Jun 14, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

French hollyhocks are generally grown as biennials or short-lived perennials. The standard flower color is white with purple veining, although lavender tinged flowers are also common among some of the varieties. They are shorter and stockier than their Hollyhock cousins, but they may still require staking to prevent them from flopping over.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Albertville, Alabama
Rainsville, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Dewey, Arizona
Sacramento, California
Delmar, Delaware
Gainesville, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Bartlett, Illinois
Libertyville, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Demotte, Indiana
Farmersburg, Indiana
Greenville, Indiana
Ewing, Kentucky
Mer Rouge, Louisiana
Pikesville, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
West Olive, Michigan
Rosemount, Minnesota
Stewartville, Minnesota
Byhalia, Mississippi
Rienzi, Mississippi
Blue Springs, Missouri
Billings, Montana
Trenton, New Jersey
Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Himrod, New York
Southold, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Pembina, North Dakota
Haviland, Ohio
West Lafayette, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Desoto, Texas
Iredell, Texas
North Richland Hills, Texas
Paris, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah (2 reports)
Tremonton, Utah
Kalama, Washington

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